The fastest growing format type in 2020 is definitely the live stream. It should be the number one go to for musicians – you are entertainers after all. The benefits of streaming yourself to the internet are huge. When you’re playing a live concert you have a reach of however many people are in attendance… Live streaming yourself on the internet can get hundreds, if not millions of eyes on you, if done correctly. Interacting live with your fans online or in person at a concert is super valuable for your audience so don’t ignore these two simple methods of growing your fanbase. I mean, just check out how Marc Rebillet has conquered the internet with his live videos.
Right now on Instagram there’s a silent war waging between TV networks and the social media goliaths. If you think about what has become BIG on TV in recent years, it’s reality TV, growing to eye-watering levels of popularity, its not going anywhere soon. This is why social media platforms are trying to cash in on the live streaming capabilities of its users. People want to see ‘reality’ in all its forms. Because of this, Instagram are rewarding users that make use of the live streaming functionality with reach. If you go live and you do it regularly, Instagram opens up your visibility to a wider audience than if you were to just post an image to your feed. This is very typical behaviour for any product development in the tech world. By trying to drive traffic to new features in order to test it out, they are enticing people in to using it by rewarding those users. It triggers other parts of the algorithm and favors your activity over users that aren’t engaging with live streaming.
But what are the benefits to you as a musician for going live? Let’s explore:
Going Live Will Give You More Visibility
Creating more visibility is of course going to help you reach potential fans and help to engage with existing folk too.
2. You Create MORE Content… And Then Some…
Your live video becomes a piece of content which in turn can be chopped up into highlight videos, image posts, quotes, etc. and you can cross-post it to other platforms too. Just remember to save the video at the end of your stream!
And then you have the engagement. Which is queen in this house. This is where you build those relationships. Even if it is 10% of the live performance connection. Wouldn’t it be worth the time considering its only 20 minutes out of your day and you can actually already do it while you are doing something you were gonna do anyway? Your fans can interact with you, write to you. You can answer questions live. They can even go live with you.
3. You Get Engagement
Engagement is queen in this house. Building relationships and making connections with your fans going live is invaluable. Just how you’d interact with audiences at a live show, live streaming offers similar perks without having to orchestrate a live show. With fans able to comment and talk with you – it’s likely you’ll be building something worthwhile for just a small amount of your time per week doing a stream. Doing Q&As or having a fan go live with you can open up your persona to a large audience of people which leads to loyal fandom.
Not quite sure what to do on your live stream? It can seem a little anxiety inducing for some people, but it gets better with every time you hit that live button. Here are a few ways you as a musician can use Instagram Live.
4. Call Somebody
What if nobody tunes in? What if only one person shows up? Yes, these are all valid worries and everybody goes through the same trauma. Overcome this by dialling in a second person! Not only does this make the whole scenario more comfortable for you but you’ll be tapping into their Instagram followers too as push notifications are sent to all followers of people streaming live (very nice). Creating this kind of content with two voices, two opinions and two talents gives you valuable content that followers will enjoy. Just having a discussion about your latest projects or collaborations is what people want. Behind the scenes content has always been of interest to the masses, even before the internet existed the crowds were hungry for inside scoop via magazines and the like.
Artists such as Trippie Redd are seen consistently going live with other artists – it’s almost like Instagram Live has replaced their usual way of just calling each other privately and is broadcasting their calls to the world. Content is content, right? But still, thousands of fans tune in to these streams and its how you can start building a deeper connection with your fans too. Include them on your stage.
5. Create A Mini Show
John Mayer created a weekly show on a Sunday where he’d invite other people to join him and discuss anything and everything. He did this with the intention of curbing his loneliness as well as his followers’. By doing so he’s created a weekly event where fans tune in and engage with the content. Relate it to your music and its a genius way of promoting yourself without being too salesy. Broadcasting “this week’s jam” from the studio is a simple idea you can use. You’re a musician after all, your job is to perform. Entertain your fans with a mini concert just as Mayer does with his iPhone in his living room – it’s easy and it’s fun. You’re sharing the process, connecting with your audience and creating a good flow for your Instagram. Find a format you can share on a consistent basis and watch the numbers rise.
6. Do A Monologue
I’ve been following Cardi B ever since she was on Love & Hip Hop and this girl is the queen of monologues! Her whole Instagram fame that came before the show was because of her funny one-woman-spouts online – they just hit the spot. She talked about matters that we all thought but nobody was speaking about out loud. Taking it in her own hands and sharing her thoughts to the world. Cardi uses the Instagram Live function religiously and you never know what the subject will be. Her monologue skills have catapulted her on to the political platform where she even interviewed Bernie Sanders and has several rants regarding politics on her channels. If you have a lot to say on something, you can easily start using live streams as your platform on the global stage.
7. Fly On The Wall
So if you’re in the studio, making music, in your zone – you produced a really cool beat and want to share the excitement.. Consider going live! Whether you share the process of the production or just the listening party at the end, it is all worth while. Allowing fans to tune in to the magic process of making music, sharing them big studio moments, it is going to really connect with your audience and again, push out your reach!
8. Communicate With Fans
Recently I saw Sonny Digital go live on Instagram where he was allowing fans to talk with him via the function of dialling in other users. He’d talk with fans like he knew them and discuss normal, everyday things. After watching his stream I was left thinking how cool and down to earth he was. It’s these kinds of reactions you want from random internet users, you want them to think about you and consider following you for more.
Although it can be a scary process at first, streaming live videos to your current fans will not only build up that rapport to help keep them around but you’ll also be able to broaden your reach to new fans. Actively engaging online is key to growth and streaming live allows the process to become much more personal than ever before. Giving you instant push notifications to your followers when going live isn’t possible with any other function of Instagram. So plan your attack and execute it with style to make the best use of the exposure.